The bushfires continue to bring devastation to many families and wildlife across Australia. Here are some updates, safety tips and ways that you can help…
Where the Fires are Located – Live Updates
How You Can Help…
Salvation Army Bushfire Disaster Appeal
The Salvation Army Emergency Services is responding to the NSW and Queensland bushfires with teams in multiple locations. They are providing meals to evacuees and frontline responders, and will continue to provide whatever support is needed as the situation develops.
Financial support will be used to deliver crucial help when it’s needed, and to stay for long as it takes to help local communities recover.
Vinnies Bushfire Appeal
The St Vincent de Paul Society is on the ground helping victims in the aftermath of the bushfires and will also be there to help with longer-term recovery. Funds raised in its disaster appeal provide food, clothing, essentials, and financial help, as well as emotional support. Fire victims will also be referred to other support and accommodation services.
Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief and Fire Recovery Kits
The Christian-based charity Samaritan’s Purse has been on the ground in bushfire affected parts of northern NSW.
They are helping with rubbish removal and property clearing, and are handing out fire recovery kits. The kits contain cleanup tools such as shovels, rakes, mattocks, wrecking bars, steel claw hammers, pliers, and safety wear such as gloves, face masks, safety goggles and more.
The kits are helping families clear their property and find valuable items in the rubble.
You can support the work by donating $300 for a Fire Recovery Kit. Samaritan’s Purse is also asking for prayer for their teams as they continue their recovery work.
Australian Red Cross First Aid and Emergency Support
Australian Red Cross teams are working in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia to support those affected by fires.
Specialist emergency volunteers are giving immediate first aid and emotional support, working at evacuation centres, and helping people to make contact with loved ones.
The best way to support the work of the Red Cross is by donation.
In NSW, more than 60 Red Cross volunteers are supporting people at 16 evacuation centres across the state, and 16 volunteers are working in Queensland.
To get involved in future Red Cross emergency responses, visit the Become a volunteer page and fill out the registration form.
Blaze Aid – Helping Rural Families on Damaged Properties
BlazeAid is a volunteer-based organisation that works to support farming families and individuals in rural Australia, after natural disasters like bushfires and floods. The charity was founded after the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009.
Volunteers help to rebuild fences and farm buildings that have been damaged on the properties of primary producers, as well as restoring gardens and machinery, removing fallen trees—and bringing a much-needed lift to the spirits of those suffering great loss.
Currently, Blaze Aid has four camps operating in northern NSW – in Ebor, Casino, Ewingar and Drake. Find out more and apply to assist through the Blaze Aid Camps information page.
Volunteer for Your Local Bushfire Brigade
Often in times of widespread bushfire, many people feel moved to volunteer for a brigade. Bushfire Brigades such as the Rural Fire Service welcome volunteers in a wide range of roles, including:
- Community Education
- Community Engagement
- Operational Logistics Support
- Welfare Support
- Equipment Maintenance
- Youth Development
Training is generally free of charge, insurance is covered, and many qualifications are accredited and transferrable in other contexts. Once trained for a role, your brigade will arrange any personal protective clothing and equipment required. Most services require you to fill out an application form and attend an interview to assess your suitability. Find out more by following the links below.
Help Injured Animals or Wildlife
If you are in a bushfire affected area and find a native animal that’s been injured or is suffering, the best group to contact is the Wildlife Information and Rescue Service, WIRES. The group is on standby in bushfire season to get to affected animals as soon as the RFS declares an area safe.
If you find a domestic animal such as a dog or cat after a natural disaster, or wish to adopt a rescued animal, contact your local animal shelter. Adopting an animal or volunteering with an animal welfare organisation is also a very practical way to make a difference.
Animal welfare organisations such as WIRES and the RSPCA, and smaller groups that care for specific animals such as koalas, are always in need of financial support to help them do vital work in caring for our furry friends.
Use the links below to make a donation to your charity of choice.
Have You Made Your Bushfire Plan? How Fireproof is Your Plan?
Know your risk and have a plan ready with Rural Fire Service QLD to make sure you and your loved ones are ready in the event of an emergency.
Rally Together in Prayer
If you need support and encouragement during this time, the prayer team at 96five wants to come alongside you. Please submit your confidential prayer request here.
Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.